Dancing her way to health
Carolyn Jackson is no longer scared of clothes shops after losing 80 kilograms, almost half her body weight.
Her weight loss journey began 3 years ago, when she weighed 167kg.
"A friend of mine took me along to a Zumba party, which was a fundraiser for Relay for Life," Jackson, 28, said.
"I fell in love with that kind of exercise and started doing Zumba once a week, then three times a week, along with walking, then running.
"My diet didn't change hugely. I stopped missing breakfast or lunch and started eating smaller portions."
At her last weigh-in she had lost 82.2kg. She wants to lose 90kg all up, which will take her to 77kg.
There is no magic bullet for weight loss, she said. "It has been hard work and eating right."
She now works at Go Girls, the gym that first got her into Zumba.
"The support of [owner] Lizelle Pelser has got me here, she was so positive.
"Sometimes when you walk into a gym you feel like everyone is looking at you. Well, I never felt like that here. It's not an exaggeration to say it's my second home. I work here and then work out six times a week."
Her clothing used to be baggy hoodies and pants.
"Mum would have to force me into the store to buy clothes. Now I love shopping for clothes."
Maintaining her weight once she reaches her goal will be a challenge, she said.
"I did go through a stage when I had lost 70kg and I thought I can go back to eating what I want now. Then I did put on some weight and I freaked out so hopefully I won't do that again.
"Sometimes I still see myself as a bigger person and other days I think I have done well. It just depends on my mood, I guess."
Her advice to others who don't think they can do it: "I have proved you can do it and thrown out all my baggy clothes. Now my sister and mother are trying to do it too."
The Timaru Herald